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Tag Archive: Use of Force

The Fuzzy Scope of the Forever War Needs Definition

For years now, the questions of where and with whom exactly the United States is at war have been treated as somewhat academic. It’s not that they didn’t matter, but a gridlocked Congress seemed unwilling or unable to take the issue on or to pass a law clarifying the Obama administration’s authority to use force in any meaningful way.…   continue »

Two Questions for Stephen Preston

As Marty has already written, the Department of Defense’s General Counsel Stephen Preston gave a speech tonight at the American Society of International Law “the Legal Framework for the United States’ Use of Military Force Since 9/11.”  Having strategically placed myself next to one of the microphones tantalizingly set up for what I assumed would be a Q and A session to follow the remarks, I was surprised when Preston exited without taking questions from the audience.  …   continue »

International Law and Cyber Attacks: Sony v. North Korea

It could only happen in the movies. A major Hollywood company produces a film starring well-known comedic actors which involves the tongue-in-cheek assassination of the leader of a remote and rather bizarre dictatorship. The “supreme leader” apparently orders a secret group of cyber warriors calling themselves “The Guardians of Peace” (in actuality, the State-run “Bureau 121”) to retaliate by attacking the company’s IT system.…   continue »

International Law on Airstrikes against ISIS in Syria

The administration is actively considering the option of using military force against ISIS in Syria. As the New York Times editorial board states today: “The United States, however, has not been invited into Syria, and the Obama administration has not articulated a legal justification for crossing the border.”

So what might be the justification under international law?…   continue »

Major development concerning transparency of the use of force in Yemen

“I think the rule should be that if we’re going to take actions overseas that result in the deaths of people, the United States should take responsibility for that.”

(John Brennan, the Washington Post, Oct. 24, 2012)

“[W]here necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans. 

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